Chipmunks are ground dwellers. They are active during the day and move around cautiously and tentatively. Chipmunks exist in all 48 of the main states of America and seem to be thriving more now than ever. As with other animals, chipmunks have been able to take advantage of suburban areas. They can exist alongside man in parks, wooded lots or in our yards. The rule is simple; if there is a supply of food around your property then expect to have some chipmunks moving in as neighbors. Chipmunks have a large list of food on which they will readily feed. This list includes slugs, snails, insects, small birds, eggs, mice, seeds, fruit, vegetables, seeds, flower bulbs, and pet food. They seem to have an endless appetite and will hoard food if given the opportunity. Homes with pet food, bird feeders, nut trees, gardens, flowers or an abundance of insects are likely to have chipmunk activity. In most cases, the first signs of chipmunks are welcomed. These small animals are both cute and innocent looking. Most people like to watch them as they forage for food and move about in the yard. But don’t let their harmless looks charm you. Chipmunk infestations can quickly grow out of control and once established, they can be difficult to remove!
Chipmunks can be a problem several ways. Each case is different, but they all start the same. One day, a chipmunk is seen foraging in the yard. The homeowner leaves the animal to do as it likes not realizing what will happen. Soon, this one chipmunk becomes many. This increase in population leads to problems from the chipmunks behavior. If you have chipmunks in your yard, here are some of the problems you might expect to have happen.
1) Chipmunks eating garden vegetables and fruits
2) Chipmunks eating from bird feeders.
3) Chipmunks chewing on cable lines, air conditioning pipes and electric lines.
4) Chipmunks burrowing into the ground which leads to water undermining patio slabs, driveways and foundation walls. This undermining will eventually lead to water getting inside your home, cracked cement slabs and broken driveways.
5) Flowers, bulbs and other plants being eaten or dug up.
6) Flea problems developing on the chipmunks and then ultimately becoming for pets and people.
7) The possibility of diseases such as plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or the Powassan virus to be transmitted to you or your family increases with these animals being around.
8) Flower beds, retaining walls and trees have been tunneled and burrowed into leading to water problems. For flower beds and trees, this excessive water will lead to fungus and water rot. This ultimately will lead to the plant becoming diseased or sick. Retaining walls which are tunneled through will become weak and damaged leading to repair quicker than normal.
9) Burrows made against the home will lead to a quicker breakdown of any termiticide barrier.
10)Snake infestations. Chipmunks will inevitably attract snakes which will come looking for the chipmunks for food.
CHIPMUNK CONTROL THAT DOESN’T WORK
1) Baiting with “Poison Peanuts” or other Rodent bait. Chipmunks are fussy and only seem to like tasty and selective foodstuff generally not available in a “bait” form.
2) Flushing water or gasoline down their burrows. Putting gas down their burrows will sterilize the ground and the chipmunks will simply avoid treated areas. Since their burrows usually go 20-40 feet, it is not likely that you can reach them with either gas or water. Don’t waste your time or money.
3) Rat snap traps. Although you may get an animal or two, the rest of the population will quickly learn to avoid them.
4) Cats and dogs. Although your cat or dog may occasionally kill one or two, more will quickly occupy the vacated area. Typically, the chipmunks which inherently are coy enough to escape the pets reproduces and their offspring inherit these same qualities which allow them to survive as well.
5) Moth balls. As the name implies, this product is for moths – not chipmunks. Although they smell to people, don’t expect them to do anything to chipmunks. No one knows where this old wives tale originated but you can rest assured it will not chase away chipmunks.
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